We play against one team from each pot, so in that case we have plenty of scenarios. We could have a very tough group despite being placed in pot 2, but we could get a really passable group that could give us real chances to adavance.
pot 1: Italy, Spain, Germany, Czech Rep, France, Portugal, Holland, Croatia and Greece.
Pot 2 ( teams that we wonīt be playing against): Besides Israel, England, Romania, Scotland, Turkey, Bulgaria, Sweden, Russia and Poland.
Pot 3: Serbia, Norway, Ukraine, Denmark, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium
Pot 4: Slovakia, Hungary, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova, Macedonia, Wales, Belarus, Lithuania, and Cyprus.
Pot 5: Georgia, Albania, Slovenia, Latvia, Iceland, Armenia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein
Pot 6: Azerbaijan, Estonia, Malta, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Andorra, Faroe Islands, San Marino
So we can get a very tough draw for example: Italy, Serbia, Bosnia, Austria and Estonia. Or we can get a very good draw for example: Greece, Northern Ireland, Moldova, Liechtenstien and San Marino.
The truth is since we are in pot 2 we have better chances to advance, but the draw will influence the level difficulty we will have. All teams in pot 1 are excellent and there wonīt be easy task over there. From pot 1 the only team we really have some chance to beat in a normal day is Greece, but even so is very hard. The other teams we will need to play our very best to beat them. From pot 2 we avoided to play very strong teams like Sweden and Turkey and of course the traditional English side. In pot 3 we could face all teams in pot 3 without fear, but honestly all of them will be very tough. I really donīt want to get Denmark neither Serbia. The Danish always beats us and the Serbians are very strong team and i believe we would be in a slight disadvantage against them. The other teams are good, but we could face it. In this case i see us in slight adavantage against Northern Ireland, Belgium and Finland. while against Switzerland, Ireland, Ukraine and Norway we are in equal forces.
From this pot 3 will probably come the team who will fight with us the place in the 2010 WC and we should keep an eye and hope for a good draw.
In pot 4, we medium teams and some of them are tricky. Are well known neighbours from Cyprus usually give us a hard time when we visit them and they are a team i wouldnīt like to face. Macedonia proves to be a tough team, even though we beat them twice in these qualifiers. But the toughest teams from this pot IMO are Slovakia and Bosnia. I wouldnīt like them in our group becaus they could take away some points from us. The others i believe we have advantage. IMO Moldova would be the best one to get in this draw.
In pot 5: The rivals from Austria are the ones to watch. They havenīt played these qualifiers since they Euro hosts and we donīt know how their form are, but we have much more talent and better squad than. Even though i would love to see us repeat that historical 5-0
. The other teams we could beat, but besides Austria we have tricky teams as Gerogia and Slovenia which would be better to avoid.
In pot 6 nothing fear, but the strongest opponent IMO played with us on this qualifier, Estonia. In this pot any teams we should play easily.
Letīs hope Israel cold have a good draw on Sunday. Canīt wait to see it!
Good luck! EL EL Israel!